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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Cheap Stage Lights (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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New user
South Bend, IN
50 Posts

Profile of Supriemer
What kind (and where can you get)cheap lights for staging? Not above lights, but for ones to go actually on the stage, or on the sides. Usually held up by a tri-pod or something similar. They don't have to be real stage lights, just something that can be used for them. Thanks.
"Kristopher Supriemer"

"Good things come to those who wait...but only what's left by those who hustle."
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Regular user
Akron, OH
171 Posts

Profile of Shadow
check out your local building supply. They have a set of work lights-2 halogen lights on a tripod-it will extend up to about 8-10 feet. If you want you could fab a bracket and attach color gells.
lots of light for only $40.USD
I would suggest you place a set on both sides unless you are after the shadows.

Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1817 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
I use quartz video lights. You can purchase lighting kits from photo stores. I use a Smith-Victor Quartz light kit that comes with 2 600-watt video lights and two 8-foot light stands. It all fits into a 26" long tool box that they have modified to protect the lights. The lights are very compact and powerful. (They also get very hot!)
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Loyal user
270 Posts

Profile of Grandillusionsmagic
try http://www.cheaplights.com.
hope this helps
Grand Illusions
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New user
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
16 Posts

Profile of joespuppets
I can second the recommendation for http://www.cheaplights.com They are the cheapest source for effects lights and many other items.

For a little while I played with making my own lights, putting sockets inside juice cans. But, by the time you pay for all the parts, you might as well buy the $25 par-can and end up with a much better fixture. The problem with fixtures you buy at Home Depot, (or other home improvement stores) is that the light from these fixtures spread out in a wide angle. This defeats many of the reasons for using lights.
I have a simple article on the subject on my web page... http://www.dunfee.com

Joe Dunfee
Joe Dunfee
Lancaster, PA, USA
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New user
2 Posts

Profile of dropdead
A good source for stage ligting and other effects and equipment is a company by the name of AMERICAN DJ. They have a website that I belive is AMERICANDJ.COM. They carry relatively inexpensive intelligent lighting and other effects equipment along with the appropriate control system.
4Wall Entertainment here in Las Vegas and soon to be NYC has used lighting, although it's primarily beefy theatrical Source 4's and such. Their website is USEDLIGHITNG.COM
Cheshire Cat
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Special user
Wilmslow, UK
941 Posts

Profile of Cheshire Cat
Look in a disco equipment shop for boxes of lights. They usually carry like a small case - two sections locked together with the wiring wrapped internally. They usually have 4 bulbs in each box. You may have to rewire them to be permanently on as they could be set with an internal mike to pick up music beat or bass notes. Once sorted these will last for years and are easy to transport. Smile
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Profile of Proudmagic
American DJ is a good place to start for lights and lighting effects. I've been a professional musician all of my adult life, as well as a sound/light technician for countless shows, and as such I know that lighting can be crucial for achieving certain moods and effects. A note concerning one of the posts above - I would not recommend powerful work lights (from hardware store) for the simple reason that they get extrememly hot. It is virtually impossible to use a gel on top of the glass, because all but the most robust gels will begin to melt within minutes, if not seconds. For overall lighting I recommend PAR 38s with up to 300 watt bulbs, or for a large stage, PAR 64s with 500 or 1000 watt bulbs. They are not particularly expensive and in the case of PAR 38s, replacement bulbs are inexpensive and can be found almost anywhere. These PAR cans usually come with a gel frame and the can itself has a mount for the frame, which keeps the gel in place.
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Veteran user
361 Posts

Profile of Kline
New to This board and I have to say I am impressed. There seems to be alot to learn from all the topics - that is great.
OK - lets take a look at the title of the post "Cheap" - guys if you use cheap stuff, you look cheap. I'm not too sure exactly what the original poster was ( is ) trying to accomplish with the asked for "cheap" lights but there are many different way to accomplish lighting on the stage that won't look like you robbed to local home depot.
ADJ and Elation have a few nicer lo end lights but it all depends on the venue. Are you playing a theater, schools auditorium, etc.
Lets explore this a bit further
Steven Kline
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New user
Jackson, Ms
22 Posts

Profile of ReaL2ReeL
Here's one place to look -


It's a start, but I wouldn't call it definitive.
Where words fail, music speaks.
"Honey, where's the AmEx?"
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1817 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
Just a quick point. The work lights you can buy at The Home Depot or Lowes do look "cheap", but a set of video lights does not. The quartz video lights I use come with 7 1/2' black stands and the units themselves are also black. These are used by professional video crews so they certainly don't look cheap.

As Steven said, it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. My lights are used simply to light up my performing area when there isn't enough light provided. I work primarily in banquet facilities and hotels, where there are not theatrical lights. They usually dim the lights for the event so I light up the stage. Two 600-watt video lights will flood a 16' x 20' stage with light.

If you want to do lighting effects, video lights are not the way to go. Par cans and intelligent lighting with controllers are needed. Then, you'll need someone to work the lights (or a Show Tech programmed to work the lights.)

For me, that's not practical. I use one female assistant and no tech crew. Setting up light trees would be impractical because of the small rooms I'm often working.

Again, this is just my situation. Everyone has different needs but I don't think everyone needs to spend the money to buy theatrical lighting.

If you want to check out the system I use, here's a link: www.bhphotovideo.com

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New user
77 Posts

Profile of kingsnqueens
Hi Kris,

Check eBay. I've seen professional lighting go for next to nothing!

Good luck........ Manyfingers
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Inner circle
Virden, IL
1137 Posts

Profile of Eldon
Hey Kris,
White Magic Mfg. has the type of lights you described at good prices.
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Loyal user
Springfield IL
282 Posts

Profile of TroyRoark
I actually own some White Magic lights, and they are fantastic! Very inexpensive also. You can call them at (800)511-9468. It will answer ERMS, but it's White Magic Mfg. Leave a msg. They're very good about getting back to you.

Troy Roark
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